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The Book of Genesis in the Complete Chronographic Palaea and the Trinity Pentateuchs No. 1 and No. 45

Tatiana L. Vilkul



Some parts of the Complete Chronographic Palaea contain fragments of an Old Slavonic translation of the Bible, which was intended for personal home or monastic reading (chetij in Old Slavonic). The origin of this translation has not received much scholarly attention so far. The main purpose of this paper is to identify the version of the Book of Genesis used in the Palaea by comparing the textual traditions of the Slavonic Pentateuch, Octateuch and chronographs. The Complete Сhronographic Palaea is one of the Old Russian compilations containing both the Old Testament translations and chronographic sources. Its biblical part is built on the material of the Palaea Interpretata, as well as on the Slavonic “chetij” biblical translation, while the chronographic part has excerpts from the translated Byzantine chronicles after the version of the so-called Chronograph po velikomu izlozheniju with additions. Overall, the manuscript tradition of the Slavonic Octateuch includes three families. While interpolations from the Genesis in the Complete Palaea reveal little resemblance to two of them, namely, Russian and South Slavic recensions, we see dozens overlaps with the group of the Trinity Pentateuchs (Russian State Library, f.304. I, No.1 and No.45). The text of this group belongs to the third, Chronographic recension of the “chetij” Octateuch with specific features covering dozens of examples of identical innovations. However, some discrepancies with the Trinity Pentateuchs and convergence with the original readings preserved in two other recensions show that the compiler of the Complete Palaea was dealing with an earlier common protographe. The Chronographic recension itself was divided into two groups (Trinity Pentateuchs and Iudejsky Chronograph) approximately in the late 1100s or early 1200s and is now represented by only five manuscripts. Therefore, the evidence of the Complete Chronographic Palaea is important both for the textual analysis of the Old Slavonic biblical translations and for the history of the Old Russian chronographs as well.


DOI: 10.31168/2305-6754.2020.9.2.5


medieval literature; Old Slavonic biblical translations; Old Church Slavonic; Old Russian chronicles


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